Commitment to Safety
We are, and always have been committed to the safety and integrity of Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™
Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ has a perfect safety record for the past 125 years. The cantaloupes that were recalled last year were not from Rocky Ford but from a farm approximately 90 miles away that used the Rocky Ford name. When you see The Rocky Ford Growers Association sticker you will know the cantaloupe has been grown and packaged only by member growers following stringent, national safety procedures.
USDA Safety Audits
Every grower member of the Rocky Ford Growers Association has agreed to a risk assessment and/or audit review of their farms. This includes strict adherence to USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP). In addition, the Rocky Ford Growers Association follows FDA food safety (FSMA) rules. Any grower who doesn’t follow the rules cannot be part of association.
For more information about USDA and FDA Food Safety Rules:
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Rocky Ford Cantaloupes™ safe to eat?
YES. Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ has a perfect safety record for the past 125 years. The cantaloupes that were recalled last year were not from Rocky Ford but from a farm nearly 100 miles away that used the Rocky Ford name. When you see The Rocky Ford Growers Association sticker you will know the cantaloupe has been grown and packaged only by member growers following stringent, national safety procedures.
What’s new about the safety procedures?
- Rocky Ford Growers Association meets all federal guidelines. Grower members are required to pass two USDA audits, including one unannounced audit.
- New, state-of-the-art packing shed has been built by Hirakata Farms, RFGA’s packer.
- High output air coolers to quickly cool the field-heated melons to reduce condensation and potential bio problems.
- Advanced washing/chlorination sanitation system. This includes a microbial soap shower with chlorine oxide and then final soap rinse. Water quality is monitored hourly.
- Safe handling. Trailers are segregated and only carry Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™, watermelon and pumpkins. No animals or other produce is carried in these trailers.
- Full-time food safety manager to insure that GAP/GHP and USDA requirements are being met and monitored.
- LeafTrack™ scan technology. Rocky Ford growers are tracking the cantaloupe from seed planting to supermarket. Each box has a QR code that, when scanned, will detail the history of the Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™.
- Training and Inspection. All field workers have been trained on all of the new policies. Field inspections are conducted daily.
- RINSE – Just before cutting into your Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ rinse it under running water. Do not let the Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ sit in water
- SCRUB – Scrub your Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ with a clean produce brush
- DRY – Dry your Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ with a clean cloth or paper towel
- CUT – With a clean knife